As a candidate, Donald Trump called super PACs “very corrupt,” “a scam” and “a disaster,” castigating both his fellow Republicans and his Democratic opponent for being dependent on cash from these groups. In a nation in which most voters believe their own representatives in Congress have sold their votes for cash or campaign contributions, his promise to “drain the swamp” resonated.

This summer’s 9.2 percent youth unemployment rate is deceptively low — and disguises a disturbing trend. Nearly 11 million teenagers ages 16-19 have dropped out of the labor force entirely, which means they don’t have a job and aren’t seeking one. This represents a nearly 20-percentage point decline from two decades ago, when more than half of all teens were in the labor force.

Three local stories in Sunday’s Trib highlight both the excitement behind Waco’s growth in residents and business as well as mounting anxiety over state and federal officials’ leaving our stretch of Central Texas less than prepared to fully accommodate such growth. Somewhere amidst all this must come rallying cries from local leaders, especially those championing pro-business policies — and these cries must resound with clarity among those presuming to represent us in the Texas Legislature and elsewhere.

Ordinarily, we’d say it’s time to celebrate last week’s good news about four long-troubled Waco Independent School District campuses’ making sufficient academic progress to forestall threat of state-mandated closure. But Waco ISD Superintendent A. Marcus Nelson is right: The time for celebrating is short with students returning to classes this week — and whatever mix of solution and resolution so wonderfully worked for these campuses and neighborhoods must now be refined (and bottled if possible) as the new school year ensues.

Flashback

What were we talking about one year ago? Take a look back.

Moments after the Texas Senate followed the House in adjourning a day before the special session expired, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he was “most unhappy” with the fact that the House “quit on the taxpayers of Texas.” The next day, Gov. Greg Abbott said of the House not taking votes on bills addressing all 20 of his priorities, “The voters of the state of Texas deserved to know where their legislators stood on these issues.”

Anxious times in America. There was a news story a few weeks back, “Interrupted Sleep May Lead To Alzheimer’s,” and next to it, a wine review with the line “Vivacious and well balanced, with chewy tannins and flavors of fresh red fruits.” You know and I know that a vivacious beverage will not compensate for losing your marbles. And now, driving to California, I find that I must enter a password in order to change the time zone on my laptop clock. Evidently, someone is out to mess up my schedule and my clock must be secured.